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Registering the death


When somebody dies, you normally need to register their death within five days. This can be a very difficult when you are trying to cope with the death of your child, but we hope the following information will help and direct you along the right path.

The death has to be registered at a register office. It is normally advised to go to the register office in the area where the child has died; you can register the death at another office but it will take longer to get the documents
certificateneeded and may slow down the funeral arrangements. You can however, contact the funeral directors before you have registered the death, but they will need the green form that the registrar will give you before the can start planning officially.

When you get the medical certificate from the Doctor or hospital, ask for the address of the local register office. It will also be listed in the phone book, or you can search on line,
click here to find your local office. Many register offices only see people by appointment, so it would be advisable to phone before you go and make an appointment if you need to, otherwise you could be waiting for a long time if you just turn up.


Registering a death takes about half an hour.

Normally the death will have to be registered by a relative, or someone who was with the child when they died, i.e carer, someone who lived in the same house, an official from the hospital, or the person who is arranging the funeral with the funeral directors.

There are documents that you will need to take to the register office with you. You will need the medical certificate from the Doctor or the hospital, this shows the cause of death and is signed by the doctor. If you can find them, you should also take their birth certificate, although this is not totally necessary. The registrar will also need to know the following details:
  • Their full name
  • The date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad)
  • Their last full address
The registrar will give you two important documents. One is a Certificate for Burial and Cremation, also known as the green form. This gives permission for the person's body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made. Give this to the funeral director.

You will also be given a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8, also known as a death certificate). This will be needed if your child had any savings accounts or trust funds. You can buy extra copies of the death certificate when you register a death at a small charge.

You may also find help and guidance from the following sites:

Direct Gov - Registering a death

The Citizens Advice Bureau - What to do after a death